News Round-up: Spinelli, Jim Rice, Zuma

INTERVIEW: GH's Bradford Anderson (Spinelli)
“Spinelli was supposed to die in a car crash a few months into the run,” dishes Anderson. “But Steve Burton allowed himself to become emotionally invested in this relationship between these polar opposite characters. It became a bit of an image changer for him. Suddenly, Jason is reacting to these crazy comedic things that Spinelli does. Let’s face it. Without Jason’s reactions, there is no Spinelli. I basically owe my job to Steve Burton.”

Waiting on GL's replacement
Michael Davies is also waiting for word from CBS on the fate of THE $25,000 PYRAMID and THE DATING GAME, two more new takes on classic gamers for which Embassy Row recently shot pilots. The Eye has been developing a handful of game revivals (those two, as well as LET'S MAKE A DEAL) to fill the slot being vacated by the canceled GUIDING LIGHT.

Could advertiser-funded programming solve TV's financial problems?
Comparisons with the 1930s are less than cheering when it comes to the economy, but they may offer a chink of hope for cash-strapped commercial broadcasters.

It was 1937 when GUIDING LIGHT, produced and sponsored by the soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble and aimed at housewives, was first broadcast on US radio. Long-running serials remain a broadcasting mainstay - but it is the soap opera's funding model, where a company pays for a program to be made in order to reach a certain demographic - that is increasingly being reconsidered.

After long wait, Jim Rice goes into Baseball Hall of Fame (mentions Y&R in speech)
Jim Rice told the estimated 21,000 people at his induction ceremony Sunday afternoon that he spent that early afternoon in January doing what he always does at that time of day: Watching a soap opera.

"I really didn't think I would get the news flash while watching my favorite soap opera, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, every day at 12:30," Rice said. "And that's what I was doing when I got the call."

Rice described it as "the phone call you thought you'd never get," but he insisted he doesn't harbor any negative feelings about having to wait so long for induction.

"To me, it doesn't matter that I got called this year versus my first eligible year," Rice said. "What matters is that I got in."

President Zuma's daughter lands role in South African soap opera
President Jacob Zuma sang and danced his way to power. Now his daughter hopes to revive a struggling South African soap opera. Gugulethu Zuma, 24, will take a leading role tomorrow in ISIDINGO on state channel SABC3. The five-days-a-week soap sensationally brought South African television its first mixed-race kiss 10 years ago, but now the show's ratings are at an all-time low.

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